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Coast Guard vital for coastal trade, maritime security: Railway minister Suresh Prabhu

PANAJI: Union minister for railways Suresh Prabhu[1] on Tuesday asserted that in the next 10-15 years, India would be one of the top three economic powers in the world but for India to achieve that goal, a multi-modal coastal transport remained a vital cog. Speaking while commissioning Indian Coast Guard[2] ship Shaunak[3] at Goa Shipyard Limited[4], Prabhu[5] said that coastal security was key to India’s security and economic prosperity.

“I believe that in the days to come, based on the way our economy is growing currently, in 10-15 years, India will be the second or third largest economy in the world. Trade has always been an important factor for the economic development and international trade will be equally important,” Prabhu said while interacting with the media.

Most of India’s import and export trade passes through the country’s major shipping ports along the country’s eastern and western coast. “If you see, quite a large part of the rail network runs along the coast and in a way, the coast guard[6] helps protect this rail network. Multi-modal transportation is going to be an important thing… Rail infrastructure is susceptible and the Coast Guard helps in its protection,” Prabhu said. Stay updated on the go with Times of India News[7] App. Click here[8] to download it for your device.

References

  1. ^ Suresh Prabhu (timesofindia.indiatimes.com)
  2. ^ Indian Coast Guard (timesofindia.indiatimes.com)
  3. ^ Shaunak (timesofindia.indiatimes.com)
  4. ^ Goa Shipyard Limited (timesofindia.indiatimes.com)
  5. ^ Prabhu (timesofindia.indiatimes.com)
  6. ^ coast guard (timesofindia.indiatimes.com)
  7. ^ News (play.google.com)
  8. ^ here (get.timesofindia.com)

Maryland basketball vs. Minnesota preview: Terps look for 2nd straight win over Gophers

Maryland basketball has four regular season games left. The first of those comes Wednesday at home against Minnesota. The Terps will host the Gophers in a relatively late matchup at 8:30 on BTN. Maryland won the teams first matchup this season, 85-78, in Minnesota. The Gophers are in the midst of a five-game winning streak, having just topped Michigan in double overtime. Maryland just finished its hardest week of the season. The Terps beat Northwestern on the road on Wednesday, then fell at Wisconsin on Sunday. They re still holding on strong to the No. 3 spot in the Big Ten, while Minnesota is two spots behind.

This won t be Maryland s first game without Michal Cekvosky, but it ll be the first where Mark Turgeon knows he won t have his Slovakian center for the rest of the season. Just as the Terps appeared to have him back at full strength for the first time this season, Cekovksy fractured his left ankle against Wisconsin[1]. He s out for the rest of this season, meaning Damonte Dodd and Ivan Bender will stay as Maryland s primary centers.

Minnesota Golden Gophers (20-7, 8-6 Big Ten)

2015-16 record: 8-23

Head coach: Richard Pitino. He s 71-58 as Minnesota s head coach, and could lead the Gophers to their first NCAA Tournament bid in his time at the helm.

KenPom ranking: 39 (Maryland is 32)

Players to know

Nate Mason, guard, junior, 6 2/190, No. 2. Mason is a high-volume shooter, scoring 15 points per game on 37 percent shooting from the field, but Minnesota needs him. He s got the team s best offensive rating on KenPom at 109. Mason also adds a team-high 5.3 assists per game with only 1.7 turnovers.

Amir Coffey, guard/forward, freshman, 6 8/195, No. 5. Coffey was a heralded local recruit (the No. 7 shooting guard in the country), and he s paying dividends for Pitino. He averages 12 points per game on 36 percent shooting, along with 3.9 rebounds and 3.1 assists.

Jordan Murphy, guard, sophomore, 6 6/240, No. 3. He s just as powerful a scorer as Coffey. Murphy is shooting 20 percent better than he was last season, chipping in 11 points per game.

Strengths

Defense. The Gophers have the 15th-best defense in the land, by KenPom s adjusted efficiency metrics. Their opponents have an effective shooting percentage of 45, the 12th-best mark of any defense in the country. With the fifth-best block percentage, they also make things tough inside.

Ball security. Minnesota only turns the ball over on 16 percent of its possessions, the 37th-best mark in the country. The team s offense isn t explosive, but doesn t give its opponents too many extra possessions.

Weaknesses

Shooting. This is the one clear area in which the Gophers fail. Their effective shooting mark is 48 percent, 266th in the country. They re especially bad at two-pointers. Their mark of 47 percent from inside the stripe ranks 280th, an especially putrid number.

Prediction

KenPom s prediction: Maryland 73, Minnesota 68. Terps have a 66 percent chance of victory.

Ryan s prediction: Maryland 76, Minnesota 66.

References

  1. ^ Cekovksy fractured his left ankle against Wisconsin (www.testudotimes.com)

Defence expansion would break the budget if Australia ditches US alliance: Angus Houston

Scrapping the US alliance would force Australia to meet its own defence costs, hammering the federal budget, former chief of defence Angus Houston has warned, while also counselling the Turnbull government against over-reacting to China’s territorial expansion in the South China Sea. He said Australia should not contemplate naval exercises close to the recently constructed islands, and should instead focus on diplomatic representations designed to halt further militarisation.

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Tillerson talks tough about Russia, China

At his confirmation hearing, Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson says Russia “poses a danger” and that China should be denied access to islands it has built in the South China Sea. Sir Angus, arguably Australia’s pre-eminent defence elder, said the US-Australia and New Zealand defence pact known as ANZUS, had been the institutional key to Australia’s national security since the blackest days of World War II.

“It has been the cornerstone of our defence policy ever since,” he said during an address to the National Press Club on the topic of Australia’s US alliance.

Picking up the tab for defences provided as an alliance obligation by Washington, would see pressure put on already stretched health and education commitments. He estimated the replacement cost of the US alliance would cause a virtual doubling of the current spending on defence to as high as 4 per cent of Australia’s gross domestic product.

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In 2016-17, Australia will spend $33.931 billion on defence, which constitutes 1.94 per cent of GDP. If Australia were to increase to 4 per cent, its projected defence spend in 2017-18 would go from just over $35 billion to more than $72 billion – a jump of $37.3 billion. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop is currently in Washington to strengthen the relationship with Trump administration officials, and is expected to discuss a possible request for an increased Australian contribution in Iraq in the fight against IS, and the refugee resettlement agreement.

Defence Expansion Would Break The Budget If Australia Ditches US Alliance: Angus Houston Sir Angus Houston addresses the National Press Club in Canberra. Photo: Andrew Meares

Australian concerns over the reliability of the alliance have increased in recent months, fuelled by the volatility of policy emanating from President Donald Trump, who has railed against alliance partner countries that duck the full costs of their own protection. Speaking in Munich on Monday, US Vice-President Mike Pence, pointedly stopped short of withdrawing his boss’s warning that the failure of NATO member states to meet their obligations could see the US refuse to to come to their aid under the terms on that agreement.

Defence Expansion Would Break The Budget If Australia Ditches US Alliance: Angus Houston Illustration: Ron Tandberg.

“We vowed in that treaty to contribute our fair share to our common defence,” Mr Pence said.

“The promise to share the burden of our defence has gone unfulfilled for too many for too long and it erodes the very foundation of our alliance. When even one ally fails to do their part, it undermines all of our ability to come to each other’s aid.”

Asked about China’s creation of artificial islands, Mr Houston said a diplomatic course was required, warning that engaging in direct freedom of navigation voyages within the 12-mile zone would be counter-productive.

“Frankly, I don’t see a need to put a ship in close proximity to an artificial island claimed by China, I thinks that’s something that may result in consequences that we’d rather avoid,” he said. Former Labor prime minister Paul Keating has proposed a more independent stance for Australia, arguing our security should be more rooted within the region than it has been in the past.

“Our future is basically in the region around us in South-East Asia,” he told the ABC’s 7.30.

“It’s time to cut the tag. It’s time to get out of it.”

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References

  1. ^ Follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com)